The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that there is a serious lack of nuanced, contextualised media coverage of the Middle East that captures the complexity of the region’s histories, cultures and peoples. Many people are reluctant to talk about the region and its politics because it seems to be quite a tangled place that requires substantial knowledge to understand it.
That is true.
Nationalism, sectarianism, religion, colonial hegemony, foreign interventions, occupation, dictatorships, constant shifting of alliances, multiple cultural or religious identities, tribalism, political rivalries, ideological conflicts, terrorism or just the down right schizophrenic and the whacko .. the Middle East has always been an admixture of all of the above. It may fit into a neat geographical category, which the Western scholars have formulated to organise a spatially messy world, but that ‘neatness’ ends there. The recent rise of political Islam (internal), and the advent of “Islamic” terror groups (external), not only added to its already-complex layers, but is slowly and surely making the area less accessible.
In one word, it’s complicated (and the dental plan really sucks).
When did it start, will it ever end or why, even, this region has not seen peace for decades.. are all questions that we will try to answer either within the regional and international narratives, or through the local. Not only that, but we also aim to try to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical by combining our academic background with our hands-on media experience to make it an all encompassing one-stop-shop.
Thus, to cover “Agrabah”¹ well, we set off to provide objective and informed insider knowledge the tools and, most importantly access – the key elements needed to navigate the region’s cultural and political complexities. Safely.
Agrabah is a group of media professionals, academics and researchers that represent a wide variety of the region’s mosaic of ethnicities. They’ve come together to form a blog (vlog), an agency, a research centre and an opinion generator and aggregator.
At Agrabah, you name it.. we fix it²:
- We provide video material from anywhere in the ME shot by trained video journalists. You give us your (wish) shot-list (including interviews and voxpops), and we make it happen – either raw for you to package, or we can cut, voice, script and package too (we’ve done this before).
- We provide English-speaking reporters and/or guest analysts that cover a whole array of topics – anywhere in the ME!
- We have a well-established network of operatives around the region. We provide delivery for your own material and/or standups either from already established high-tech, state of the art studios or from mobile SNGs – anywhere in the ME!
- Our internationally-trained and experienced media team can organise the A to Z for visiting foreign media crews, as well as provide local fixers – anywhere in the ME!
- Our Internationally-educated team covers numerous disciplines. We provide field studies and research papers for political, social, environment, economic development and risk assessment organisations, think tanks and NGOs.
At Agrabah we keep our heads on so that you do (geddit?)
Welcome to the Middle East! Welcome to Agrabah!